Bases loaded with two outs in the fourth inning. Freshman second baseman Dylan Grego steps up to the plate. Grego takes the first pitch. The next pitch he sees ends up beyond the center field fence to put the Cardinals up 12-0.
Grego’s first career home run was a grand slam.
“It was a pretty cool moment for me,” Grego said. “I have a lot of guys in front of me so I don’t get many chances but I got out there and contributed today.”
Grego finished the game hitting 2-for-4, with six runs batted in and three runs scored. Of course, Grego wasn’t the only batter to help lift Ball State Baseball (14-6, 5-1 MAC) to a 19-2 victory over instate foe Butler (4-16, 0-0), as junior catcher Casey Turturici got the game started for the Cardinals by hitting a three-run home run to deep right field in the first inning.
“I was just trying to hit something hard and get the momentum going in the first inning,” Turturici said, “I’ve been putting a lot of time into my swing so it’s definitely a confidence boost”
After Turturici's three-run home run in the first inning, Ball State would come back out in the second inning and put four more runs on the board. In the fourth inning, senior outfielder Logan Flood hit an RBI single then the next two batters walked, setting up Grego’s grand slam. The fifth inning rolled around and the Cardinals put up another two runs to bring the score to 15-0.
The Bulldog's bats weren’t going to be quiet all night as in the sixth inning they put up its only two runs of the game, but Ball State answered back with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. In the seventh inning, Grego hit two more runs in and would score a run of his own as well on an RBI double by junior outfielder Jalen Martinez. Finally, in the ninth inning, sophomore pitcher Logan Schulfer struck out the remaining three Butler batters to win the game.
42 different players played in the game between the Cardinals and the Bulldogs. 21 for Ball State and 21 for the Butler.
The Cardinals sent out seven different pitchers in the win. Starting the game off was freshman Owen Quinn who tallied the win for the game and racked up two strikeouts in two innings pitched. No pitcher pitched more than two innings as head coach Rich Maloney said he was trying to develop his team.
“Some of those guys who pitched haven’t had many opportunities yet this season,” Maloney states, “At some point in the season, some of them are going to have to step up. It’s all about the team and this was one of those team games where we were able to solidify our team by giving guys opportunities.”
Looking ahead for Ball State, it travels to Ypsilanti, Michigan Friday, March 24 to face off against Eastern Michigan (10-7, 4-2 MAC) in a three-game series.
“We got a nice win today, and we are going to have a nice practice tomorrow,” Maloney said. “We look forward to competing against a good Eastern Michigan team. We’re going to have to play well to win.”
Contact Brayden Goins at email@example.com or on Twitter @b_goins14.